HIV Transmission via Allograft Organs and Tissues

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SummaryThere exists what is commonly referred to as a “window” of se-ronegativity following human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Potential bone and soft-tissue donors may be infectious with HIV without the virus having been detected by available antibody tests. Graft retrieval may be carried out in either a sterile or clean, nonsterile manner. Deep-freezing and freeze-drying are two commonly used processing and preservation methods. A screened donor who was in this window of seronegativity underwent vascular organ and tissue harvest. All vascular organs and the majority of minimally processed fresh-frozen grafts later tested HIV-antibody-positive. There are no known cases of HIV transmission in patients who received freeze-dried bone and soft-tissue grafts.

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